Ah, here’s my heaven-sent opportunity to actually play every map of Ultimate Doom. I’ve never done it in all these years, though I’ve played most of the maps.
Of course, we start out with my favorite Doom episode of all time, Romero’s masterpiece Knee Deep In The Dead. To digress a bit, some of you may have heard of Lyndon LaRouche, world-champion conspiracy theorist, and his acolyte, Anton Chaitkin. LaRouche peddles an interesting conspiracy theory wherein The Queen of England runs the international drug trade and her minions in British Intelligence concoct schemes of grandiose mind control to, essentially, have the military of the USA act as enforcers for the Queen.
So how does Doom enter into this picture? Well, it seems that John Romero is the son of an Air Force officer, and while John was a teenage computer whiz, his father was stationed at an air base in England. At said air base, the British had a very advanced simulator, and as the story goes, at least according to Anton Chaitkin, John was not only given access to this simulator, but was given advanced programming instruction by, if memory serves, intelligence officers from MI6!
To Anglophobes like LaRouche and Chaitkin, only the most barbaric, dire machinations are possible in a scenario like this! So the MI6 intelligence officers are “handlers” who, with dastardly cleverness, trained John Romero to produce Doom with the intent of turning American kids into slobbering serial killers through these “murder simulators,” and with the happy side effect of numbing the morality of American youth to a point where they’d become happy, paid killers in the US military in service to the Queen! Seriously, I am not making this up! :D
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, all the plans of the Queen and MI6 have come to nought, as the violence of American youth has actually declined since the release of Doom and its many imitators.
That said, there’s a map to play. For this special occasion, I’m playing in GZDoom, UV, complevel-9 as usual (I think), frequent save/reload, taking my goddamned time, with fast monsters (on this map, at least) and, as always, keyboard only. Pistol starts all the way through Knee Deep.
E1M1 – Hangar. Kills – 100, Items – 85, Secrets – 100. Time – 4:18. End Health – 73, Armor 150. Death Count – Zero
It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, this map is a classic. Meant to show off the 3D aspects of the game, and doing so brilliantly, it’s a kind, gentle intro to Doom, even on UV, though for first-timers, it may well have been a shocking horror fest of endless death.
The Sergeants guarding the Green Armor pop off right away with –fast enabled. Had to do some wall-hugging just to survive the start. ;D Knowing what awaited me elsewhere, I opted to take the alternate path to the Blue Armor since that exposed me to fewer shotguns, and allowed me to loop back through the weaker end of the big computer room. And allow me to say that Romero’s technique of the hanging Planet1 panels is a winner I copy to this day.
Once the computer room was conquered, and barrels exploded near the exit, it was just a matter of getting all the secrets. This accomplished, I went on my merry way to the exit.
This is really a glorious map, however easy it is. As mentioned before, all the big windows giving outside views, showing the revolutionary sky texture, and allowing for shooting all the way across the map from other indoor locations – wee, this is just awesome! The secrets are both clever and fun, as opposed to clever and frustrating. And then there’s the zigzag bridge.
I also strongly disagree with cannonball about the music track. This pumper makes me want to go out and kill monsters, a pity there weren’t more to slaughter, but oh well. So yes, a fun time was had by all!